The opposite leaves of Anthospermum spathulatum grow on short stalks, sparsely spaced along the reddish young stems or in clusters near branch tips. Consecutive pairs are positioned perpendicular to each other in decussate fashion.
The leaves are bright green, shiny and sometimes touched with red as in the photo. Leaf shape is elliptic to oblong with margins showing roughness that may be tiny, spine-like teeth. Leaf tips are slightly pointed to rounded, sometimes turning down slightly. The lower leaf surfaces are pale, finely hairy. Leaf dimensions are 12 mm by 3 mm.
The specific name is descriptive of the leaf: From the Latin is taken spatha (spathe, a broad flat blade), -ulus (diminutive) and -atum (indicating possession or likeness) to form spathulatum, a leaf shape that resembles a small spathe.
This species is rarely browsed. It is not considered threatened in habitat early in the twenty first century (Vlok and Schutte-Vlok, 2010; iSpot; Bond and Goldblatt, 1984; Andrew, 2012; www.redlist.sanbi.org).